Christmas is just around the corner and can often be a strain on our wallets, with the effects felt well into the New Year. That’s why you should always start planning your Christmas finances in advance so that nothing comes as a shock last minute.
Before you start going shopping mad, you need to set a budget. You should start by working out what your income will be for the month. Most people budget for Christmas based on their November salary, but some employers may pay you earlier in December, so it’s always worth checking this and factoring it into your budget.
After removing household bills, living costs, travel costs and other commitments you’ll be left with your Christmas budget!
Christmas saving tips:
- Stick to your budget. It can often be really tempting to spend just a little more to get those perfect presents for your loved ones, but any extra spending is only going to lead to further difficulties in the long run.
- Book your travel in advance. All forms of public transport are extremely busy during the Christmas period. If you’re looking to visit friends and family to exchange gifts, you should always book in advance to ensure there’s no last-minute price jumps and to guarantee your place.
- Don’t shop at the same place. If you’re a part of a reward scheme or have loyalty cards, you may be tempted to shop in the same place. A report by Which? found that loyalty cards are sometimes not worth the extra you’re paying versus shopping at other shops, so it’s always worth shopping around.
- Scour the web and social media for discounts. Many retailers post unique discount codes on their social media channels, so it’s always worth doing a quick check before you make any purchases. Websites like HotUKDeals also post up to date discount codes and deals.
- Trial Amazon Prime free for one month. If you’re buying from Amazon, you can get a free trial for Amazon Prime which guarantees next day delivery – just don’t forget to cancel before your trial ends!
- Sell your unwanted gifts from last year online. Now’s a great time to start selling your unwanted gifts online through eBay and Gumtree, as the demand for cheap Christmas gifts increases at this time of year.
Remember: preparing in advance reduces the stress of doing things last minute. A few hours here or there in November can save you so much time in December, plus you get to beat the crowds!